Employees killed in foiled US prison break

Two employees were killed in foiled North Carolina prison break

Authorities early Friday identified two employees killed during an attempted inmate escape from a North Carolina prison.

In a news release, the state Department of Public Safety said Justin Smith, 35, and Veronica Darden, 50, were killed Thursday during the attempted breakout from Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City.

Smith was a correctional officer at the prison’s sewing plant, where Darden trained inmates making safety vests and other embroidered items, according to officials. Details of their deaths weren’t released.

Three other employees remained hospitalized, and four inmates were treated for injuries, officials said.

Smith and Darden were killed after inmates started a fire at the prison sewing plant in an attempt to escape, officials said Thursday. But prisons spokesman Keith Acree said officials did several counts after the fire and all 725 inmates were accounted for.

The prison near the northeast North Carolina coast houses nearly 900 adult, male felons in both high-security and minimum-custody buildings. Minimum-security prisoners work outside the walls on road gangs for the county recycling department and performing other community labour.

The prison has reported other incidents this year. In April, an argument between two inmates at the prison led to one prisoner stabbing the other several times in the upper torso. Two months earlier, a guard was charged with trying to smuggle illegal drugs, phones and cigarettes behind prison walls.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper offered his condolences for the deaths in a statement late Thursday.

“Those who work in our prisons do a difficult and demanding job that is critical to our safety,” he said.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Secondary school ranks first in national competition

A local high school’s work in post-secondary preparedness has garnered national recognition

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Dueck answers Hall’s call

Vernon’s Josh Dueck elected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Choir presents a cozy collection of Christmas tunes

Tapestry Women’s Choir and Fireflies Children’s Choir take the Armstrong Bible Chapel stage Dec. 16

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Most Read